HK star Wang reaches semis

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 11 March, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 11 March, 2006, 12:00am

Hong Kong's Wang Chen made it into the semi-finals of US$250,000 Aviva-Cofco China Masters after a hard-fought, three-set victory over Xu Huaiwen of Germany at the People's Gymnasium yesterday.

Wang, the joint third seed, will now meet China's Wang Lin, who she has beaten in their two previous meetings, for a place in tomorrow's final.

Unseeded Wang Lin, 17, pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament when she ousted top seed and Athens Olympics champion Zhang Ning yesterday, also in three sets.

'Although I have beaten her twice before, it is hard to say who will win this time because we are now playing under the new scoring system,' said Hong Kong's Wang.

'The match against Xu was demanding and I was exhausted. Fortunately, the semi-final will not start until the evening, so I'll be able to get plenty of rest.'

Wang Chen first defeated Wang Lin in the opening round of the National Games last October and came out on top again when they met at the German Open earlier this year.

'Both matches were played under the old 11-point system, so it will be a totally different game when we meet this time,' said Wang. 'She is younger and fitter, but I am more experienced. I would say it is a 50-50 game.'

Against Xu, a former Sichuan team player now representing Germany, Wang was in total control of the first set, attacking from the ouset and winning 21-17.

But Hong Kong's top shuttler let her advantage slip in the following set, as the home crowd got behind Xu, who won 21-11.

Order was restored in the decider as Wang went on the attack again to win 21-16.

The other semi-final will be between Xie Xinfang of China and Mia Audina-Tjiptawan of the Netherlands. Xie received a walkover from injured compatriot Lu Lan yesterday, while the Dutchwoman beat Jiang Yanjiao of China 2-1 in their quarter-final.

In the men's singles semi-finals, China and Denmark shared the four places.

World number one Lin Dan will take on Peter Gade, while Kenneth Jonassen meets Chen Jin. Jonassen reached the semi-finals after beating second-seeded Chen Hong of China yesterday.